Digitally-enabled facial shop leverages real estate and data to grow its cult following
The rise of digitally-native brands has fundamentally altered the retail landscape. But these companies are also quickly recognizing the transformative value of offline. Today, over 90% of retail sales still take place in the physical world. Given the unparalleled reach and unique engagement offered by brick and mortar, many digitally-native brands are embracing a truly omnichannel model. Some are even going offline from the beginning.
Heyday is an innovative, digitally-enabled brand transforming the beauty and wellness industry. The three-year-old company is upending the 17 billion dollar United States skincare market through both in-person, customized facial treatments and a curated mix of at-home skincare products. The company delivers expert skincare with a human touch across five Heyday studios in New York as well as one in Los Angeles, and HeydaySkincare.com brings its unique assortment of curated beauty brands and products online.
Given Heyday’s inventive Built World model, Fifth Wall is excited to lead the company’s $8 million Series A financing, and further support its omnichannel growth. Fifth Wall is joined by returning investor Lerer Hippeau Ventures and welcomes new investors M3 Ventures and CircleUp Growth Partners.
Heyday’s clearly offline facial treatment is the cornerstone of its business, but the digitally-enabled customer journey quickly departs from traditional brick-and-mortar models. Heyday customers start online — 98% of appointments are booked through HeydaySkincare.com — and continue with a digital survey that gathers their skincare routines, personal preferences, and lifestyle factors. This forms a holistic, highly detailed view of each customer’s skincare needs in order to provide both customized facials in person and tailored recommendations online. The company leverages products and techniques used in Heyday’s facial treatments, as well as product purchasing histories, to form digital profiles that deepen Heyday’s understanding of each customer.
In aggregate, this digital model is even more powerful; since launch, Heyday has provided over 200,000 facial treatments and sold over 100,000 skincare products — and each data point has improved the company’s macro insights across skincare products, techniques, and preferences. The Heyday experience, which has garnered a cult following, is a testament to that.
From its founding, Heyday has used real estate to strategically drive its business. Spending about 75% less on advertising than the typical digitally-native brand, the company instead uses artfully outfitted and methodically located facial studios to reach its customers. Being located in the right space, on the right block, and in the right neighborhood has allowed Heyday to embed itself into the fabric of the communities it serves, becoming an essential component of its customers’ skincare routines.
Fifth Wall Connection
Fifth Wall’s network of the largest retail real estate owners and operators in the United States all want brands like Heyday to succeed. Whether it’s providing advantageous leasing terms, value-added services around design and build, or guidance on long-term brick-and-mortar strategy, our Anchor LPs are supporting and accelerating the most innovative companies in retail. Ultimately, Fifth Wall is helping counterparties become partners aligned around a common vision for the Built World future in general, and the retail industry in this specific case. The retail-focused investors on Fifth Wall’s team, led by Kevin Campos and Dan Wenhold, provide another dimension of support to digitally-native retailers and their real estate partners. Each having led offline operations for digitally-native brands prior to joining Fifth Wall, Kevin and Dan are able to share first-hand experiences and insights, as well as identify emerging trends and valuable learnings from the industry’s latest developments. As an addition to Heyday’s board of directors, Kevin will support the selfcare startup as it expands its national retail operations.
Powering this visionary remodeling of skincare is an exceptional team with deep consumer experience. Co-founders Adam Ross and Michael Pollack built this concept from scratch, drawing on their respective beauty and agency backgrounds. Heyday’s new COO Ashley Peterson, who hails from digitally-enabled restaurant (and recent unicorn) Sweetgreen, brings hands-on experience scaling a beloved omnichannel concept to nearly 100 locations.
Heyday not only reflects the dynamic disruption of beauty and wellness, but also the renaissance of retail. As digitally-native retailers lead the way with fresh concepts, brands, and online experiences, many in that cohort are pivoting back to the Built World to reach, engage, and grow their followings — scalably and profitably. Heyday has embraced an omnichannel philosophy from day one, leveraging brick and mortar to accelerate its business, while still innovating across all customer touchpoints. With our industry-leading consortium of real estate owners and operators, Fifth Wall is uniquely positioned to meaningfully influence Heyday’s outcome through unparalleled connections and support, as well as deep operational retail expertise. Fifth Wall is thrilled to support Heyday as it transforms the future of retail.